Henrique Walter Pinotti was born in São Paulo to Italian immigrants. He began attending the Hospital das Clínicas of the Medical School of the University of São Paulo (FMUSP) when he was admitted to the Medical School, in 1950, participating in the Clinical Gastroenterology Service as an academic trainee under the guidance of the then head, Professor José Fernandes Pontes. He went through all sectors of the specialty, having contact with the pathophysiological and clinical bases of gastroenterology, deciding on surgery on the eve of his graduation, in December 1955. Then, he was selected as a second-year resident physician of the Department of Surgery of the Hospital, a position held until May 1958. During those years, he also attended the Department of Pathological Anatomy as a volunteer.
He was granted his first academic title in March 1959, when he was appointed by Professor Alípio Corrêa Netto, upon recommendation of Professor Arrigo Raia, Teaching Assistant of Surgical Clinics. Later, in 1960, he was appointed FMUSP Assistant.
Since then, he had the opportunity to monitor the activities and absorb the teachings of renowned surgeons, notable school leaders, such as Benedito Montenegro, Edmundo Vasconcellos, Eurico da Silva Bastos and, especially, Alípio Corrêa Netto, from whom he received great encouragement for his university career, as well as from his followers, Euryclides de Jesus Zerbini and Arrigo Raia, with whom he enjoyed a close and long-term relationship.
He presented his Doctoral Dissertation at FMUSP in 1964 and became an Associate Professor, by public official examination, in Surgical Clinic in 1967, and the dissertations of both programs were related to Megaesophagus.
In 1968, a new academic order was established: the chairs were extinguished and Departments were created. Disciplines and departments were established; the former, in fact, are specific teaching programs, and the later, the bunion of related disciplines. At that moment, the Discipline of Digestive Surgery was established at FMUSP, as well as the respective Digestive Surgery Division at the Hospital das Clínicas, to house surgeons specialized in this area from the former chairs.
He always sought to follow the specialty in its entirety, performing activities in all areas. With the structuring of this Discipline, he assumed, from 1974 onwards, the Head of the Esophageal Surgery Service, where he promoted great development to Brazilian esophagology.
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